A Great Weekend

What a great weekend…a TLG wedding…a family dinner….a sweet baby girl spending the night… :) :)

the bridal couple and family

cutest family photo (I might be a bit prejudiced)...

daddies and their daughters!!

pretty mama and daughter

smelling the flowers

dancing with the bride!

wheeeee!

 

…fun and food at Gramma’s

tickle time with mama and daddy

hanging out with Uncle Chad and Aunt Shannon

…and Roxy!

Then sweet girl got to spend the night :)

ready for breakfast

time to play!!

Gramma had a wonderful weekend!!

 

Happy Parenting!

D and C

Foiling the Tantrum

Do you use this method to ‘turn off the tantrum’ in your child????

I love this!!!

A few thoughts on tantrums:

Every child will try one, but not every child continues to have them. What might help make a difference?

A great start is having the child know that “No Means No” always and forever. There will be fewer opportunities for kicking, screaming, crying fits if the little one learns early on that mom and dad mean what they say. If you give in to your child’s demands you’re teaching them to convince you to change your mind…about anything and everything. It is sort of unfair to expect them to know which things you mean if you don’t stick to your guns!

 

That said,  when your kid does decide to throw a tantrum (and they will)…how do you choose to respond?  My choice…with humor. Don’t panic, don’t show anger or despair….instead tease, giggle, join in…whatever will change their focus from want, want, want to ha, ha, ha! Your humor needs to be fun, not humiliating….but if they want attention, give them the kind that gets YOU what you want and distracts them form what is causing the meltdown.   Timing, of course, is important….if you have messed up their schedule of food or sleep, humor may not work. But giving in to their demand is not fair to them in the long run…because they NEED you to set the boundaries and keep them.

 

Just my 2 cents worth….take it or leave it. Trying to bring more joy into the world, one child at a time:))

 

Happy Parenting!

D and C

 

Organizing your Morning

School day mornings can be sooo stressful! Everyone has been there at one time or another…the age of the child doesn’t matter, the issues just change a little!

 

We talked in the past about organizing your evenings so that stress would be reduced in the morning….things like putting clothes out, backpack with all assignments waiting by the back door, jackets, shoes, lunches all ready to go and always in the same places.

 

So today, how about trying to find a calm way to get up in the morning??  Most kids do not want to wake up on your schedule…only on theirs. When they are very young they wake up before you want them to, but as they get older you feel like you need to drag them out of that bed:)

 

Here’s a suggestion for your school age munchkins…may be helpful, may not…but could be worth a try!

 

Try a countdown in the mornings:

About 5 minutes before you want them out of bed:

Go in the room….say “5 Minutes!”

Two minutes later, go back in the room…give ‘em a kiss and say “2 Minutes!”

After 2 minutes, go in the room, turn on the lights(the part my boys hated the most) and say “Up and at ‘em” and walk out of the room.  They need to believe that you trust them to follow your directions.

 

Check after one minute and say “Let’s go!” and start giving them their clothing, remind them to brush their teeth and have them head downstairs(or wherever yours need to be). Make sure they don’t need to go back upstairs once they’re down…it could be a stall tactic. Breakfast…not usually time for “what do you want?”…just put out what you want them to eat. Give them another 2 minute warning before it’s time to head out the door. One last reminder to grab all of their things. You be the last one out so you can check to make sure the backpacks and lunches are not still waiting to be picked up.

 

There will always be a morning or two that goes crazy on you, but hopefully a tip here and there can make most of your mornings happy and a cheerful way for your kids to start their day:)

busy at school

When children have calm, easy-going mornings they tend to be more successful in school. Aim for a stress-free morning:)

 

Happy Parenting,

D and C

 

 

Ready for School? One quick tip!

School’s coming, whether you are ready or not…so take a big breath and find one thing to do each day to make the transition easier for you and your children!

 

Today’s tip:

Get back to the school sleeping schedule -hopefully- about 2 weeks before school starts! I know that is harder than it sounds…kids don’t want to go to bed earlier, the sun is still shining brightly, you don’t want to start that schedule either! But…if you don’t want your lovelies to look like this when school starts:

awake? not really...

a little too much summertime partying...

Try getting back on a specific schedule of when bedtime begins and work backward from there with some night time traditions…bath time, snack time, reading time, cuddle time, and then BED time!

calming down with books...no matter what age...

If you set your schedule up ahead of time, not waiting for the last minute, your kids can be up and energetic…ready and willing for the first days of school!

ready, set, go!

More tips to come…for an enjoyable and successful school year:)

 

Happy Parenting!

D and C

 

Winner of our giveaway is Jessyca Foster…congrats! An email has been sent for your info. Please reply by Aug. 8th so we can send your prize to you:)

A Perfect Baby Gift

Maybe this would be the perfect find if you’re looking for a baby shower gift or new-baby-home-from-the-hospital gift:

 

This Amazon site:  “How to Break 10 Common Childhood Myths” now allows you to look inside the book to see what tips might help you or those you know.

 

….and if by chance you are a perfect parent and never need any helpful hints to make your life easier – anyone? anyone? – copies could surely be shared with others:

- that sister or sister-in-law

- your children who are now parents

- teachers at your kids’ schools

- church groups

- day care areas

- dance studios

- anywhere that children and their parents congregate

 

Once you check out the book, or before, come check out our website and blog at Childhood Myths where you can learn about our workshops for parents and teachers and about our Sassy Kids Home Parties.

 

Have fun while reinforcing good habits!

We hope you'll love it and share it with others:)

Happy Parenting!

D and C

Freedom for Kids?

As you might guess from previous posts, we have always been concerned with our ability to instill the proper character traits in our kids, both as  teachers and as parents. Sometimes, we may have been seen as tough, strict, or overprotective. Even though that has probably all been true, we also were loving, supportive, and caring:)   Today, I thought I’d share with you one of the things we did with our kids that gave them some freedom  and still today has left us with wonderful memories.

 

When I was pregnant with Chad, before ultrasounds and knowledge of gender, we decided on painting the nursery with bright colors…yellow, orange, and red.  F2 painted the dresser yellow with orange and red drawer fronts and painted the crib yellow with orange and red spindles. The room was white, but he hand painted a beautiful artsy rainbow(ish) made of those 3 beautiful colors on one wall over the crib. Throw in a few butterfly decals and Mickey Mouse and we were all set.  (I don’t have even one picture of the whole thing, but you can get the idea soon.)  When Scott was born 2 1/2 years later, both boys were in that same room…Chad in a twin bed on the floor and Scott in the crib. This is what it looked like then…with a cute coat rack added to the wall:

pretty cool rainbow, right?

 

As the boys got older, we were in charge of what went in their room and how they took care of it. They couldn’t have a TV or video games of any kind in their room, and we expected that they would take good care of that room. I know, I know…I told you we were trying to make responsibility natural to them:)  But, we did decide that they could put stickers on that one wall any time they wanted to!! Yow, scary, huh? We reminded them that it might look pretty ugly if they put any ol’ sticker up there, but it was their decision. They actually did think very hard before choosing stickers that meant something to them. Here are a couple of photos over the years:

fillin' that wall right up...and doncha just love their sheets:)

changes to the wall...different sheets, awesome jammies:)

So today the boys are 32 and 30 and out of the house for quite awhile. The room has been turned into a sort of a den, a mellow room, hardly ever used…but repainted….all except one wall…I LOVE that wall. It has so many memories plastered all over it that I just couldn’t get rid of it. Here it is now:

amazing, huh?

Another view:

And:

When we started allowing the guys the freedom to do whatever they wanted with one wall, we didn’t know it would turn out to be a memory for all of us of things that were important in their lives: vacations, toys, space shuttles ( we have stickers from both the challenger and the columbia) , changing likes and interests over the course of many years. Part of the success of that wall was that it was not allowed to venture onto any other wall….so freedom, with boundaries! It worked for us:)

 

Happy Parenting!

D and C

Reading with Kids

     How important is reading in a family?  Reading is an obvious help to kids intellectually, but it is also a great bonding opportunity. From the time you read to and with little ones right through the time you encourage their reading beyond high school, both of you benefit:)
     Babies: in and out of the womb, while cuddling, helping to recognize people, places, and animals, hearing rhythm and rhyme.


board books
Gyo Fujikawa…beautiful books for baby and beyond!

     Toddlers: great learning time. They suck up knowledge!! Repeat stories often, shapes, colors, numbers – and best of all, more time spent with you:)

another of Gyo’s books

beautiful, inside and out

     Young ones (5-8ish): love humor and science – encourage both. Read stories about life skills: honesty, responsibility.

Berenstain Bears teach lots of values

read Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books out loud to your kids:)

     Kids older than about 9 tend to veer away from reading or read like crazy. This is also when many parents discontinue reading to their kids before bed since the kids can read on their own, but if you find interesting books a little above their reading level you can continue to read a chapter a  night of great books to them and enjoy that “us” time so important at that age. Many kids heard the Harry Potter books before reading them themselves.


Harry Potter can lead to Stephen King later in life

     Every night at our house, I would read 1 or 2 books to the boys. They had decided when they were young that they wanted to stay in the same bedroom, so they were in their own beds with me on the floor between them reading. After books, Daddy would tell a made-up Hiawatha story, such as How the Skunk got its Stripe. The boys loved them! More great memories!
     Now, for a moment of truth: neither boy enjoyed reading in high school or college!! Yikes, how did that happen?? But once they were out on their own I would share books that I loved. I convinced them to read Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code which led them to appreciate reading again. I suggested a few more that they liked and now they do read much more often. Scott likes nonfiction best, while Chad enjoys Stephen King and that genre.

a favorite before it became a bestseller

     I’m glad they have found a joy of reading, but even if they hadn’t…I would have loved every minute of the time we spent with them reading together, telling stories, and enjoying our time together as a family!!

An all-time favorite Richard Scarry book, along with
Cars and Trucks and Things That Go!!

Enjoy your reading time:)

Happy Parenting!
D and C